“If you end up as a street sweeper, try to be the best street sweeper in town”
There’s no such thing as an unimportant job.
The world of work is as interconnected as a fisherman’s net. No knot is more important than the rest.
Break any one and the fish will escape.
When I was nearing the end of my school career I had no idea what I would do with my life.
My father, who was a very wise man, told me he didn’t mind what career I followed, as long as I did it to the best of my ability.
“If you end up as a street sweeper, try to be the best street sweeper in town,” he advised.
I’ve seen so often how a big building project can be delayed by one careless worker, who probably thinks: “Why should I bother? My job is not important.”
He forgets to load a coil of wire on to the bakkie and the plasterer on the building site can’t start plastering because the electrician can’t connect the light switch because the wire hasn’t arrived.
The painter can’t paint the wall until the plaster has dried and the tiler can’t fit the splash-back until the wall has been painted.
The labourer finds the coil of wire he forgot to load and says: “Oh bugger that. It can go tomorrow,” and returns to his cellphone.
I recently went for my regular eye test and was told I needed new glasses (nothing wrong with the old ones, but my eyes are wearing out from too much looking, I suppose.)
When the new spectacles arrived, the optometrist found that they were not made to his prescription.
He sent them back and apologised to me for the delay.
A second pair arrived some days later and were also not up to standard.
The receptionist was thoroughly embarrassed and apologised to me again.
Probably somebody back in the factory (or wherever they polish spectacles) had carelessly pressed a wrong switch or failed to read the prescription properly.
I suppose he said “oops!” or something equally helpful, and forgot about it.
Not really his problem. But all along the line people were irritated and embarrassed.
We sometimes regard guarding cars as a lowly occupation, but there are some helpful guards who show you vacant spaces and help you load your groceries.
I sometimes go to certain shopping centres because the car park is a pleasant place to be.
I hope shopkeepers recognise the good guys and reward them suitably.
There are no unimportant jobs.
Charley had been slack about keeping his garden neat, so one Saturday he put on his scruffiest jeans and oldest T-shirt, and began sweeping leaves on the pavement and trimming the hedge.
A woman driving past stopped and watched him at work and then leaned out of her car window and asked: “How much do you charge for a day’s garden work?”
Charley thought for a moment and then replied: “I don’t charge anything, madam, but the woman who lives here lets me sleep with her.”